Posted by Allison on 1 April 2009, 16:29
Every single day brings more news about the potential fate of the British pound at the moment. Some people think the government aren't doing enough to protect the pound, and yet if they were to intervene it could be disastrous.
One very recent event is that the pound is almost on a level pegging with the Euro. And of course that means only one thing in the eyes of the Euro fans - that we should join the single currency now, while things are looking bad for the pound, so that we can save ourselves and ditch the flailing currency.
But things aren't always that simple. For example, if we were to join there would be no going back. And the Eurozone itself isn't exactly immune from the current financial turmoil that is going on. Germany is already in recession and other countries look set to continue that gloomy trend in the very near future.
If you make a habit of catching up on financial news online, you will no doubt have come across various websites and columns that give you the opinions of other people. This is very good as far as it goes, but you should always remember that even when such an opinion appears on the pages of a big name website such as the BBC or FT.com, it is still just one opinion.
In the end there is no reason why you can't read what other people think. But the one thing we should all remember is that these are opinions, borne out of current news events that are happening in specific places. And as far as the economy is concerned, there are more opinions than you can shake a stick at.
Of course, some analysts are proven right in the end. But there is no way of knowing at the time they make their predictions which ones will prove to be right in the future.
One very good blog online which looks at various aspects of economics has an interesting post about the value of pound sterling at the moment. You can read it at http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/economics/falling-value-of-pound-sterling/. Once again, this contains some opinions of the author, as it should do, but it is important to separate those from the facts of the piece.
This is the key to getting the most information from the news and views that are doing the rounds about our currency at the moment. Work out what is news and everything else falls into the realms of speculation.
Some people actually get quite distraught thinking about what might happen in the future. For some, the idea of joining the single European currency is as good as saying goodbye to being British. That's understandable, but if you feel that way then you are probably better off steering clear of the opinions of others at the moment, at least while the pound is so weak.
In the end every country is having its own struggles, and the UK is most definitely not alone in this aspect. There are always benefits to every negative event - you just have to look harder to see them. For example, anyone in the UK who is freelancing and collecting fees in US dollars will find the exchange rate with the dollar is giving them more money than it did in the past.
So bear the positives in mind as well as the negatives when you are reading anything online.